US slams Turkey's reported test of Russian-made missile system

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The United States on Friday condemned Turkey's reported test of a Russian-made advanced air defense missile system. — Courtesy photo
The United States on Friday condemned Turkey's reported test of a Russian-made advanced air defense missile system. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday condemned Turkey's reported test of a Russian-made advanced air defense missile system.

A Haber television, which is close to the government, said on its website that Turkey’s military test-fired the Russian S-400 air defense system in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

Condemning the reported test, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: "The US Department of Defense is aware of reports of a possible test of the S-400 air defense system by Turkey. If accurate, the Department strongly condemns the test.”

"We object to Turkey's purchase of the system and are deeply concerned with reports that Turkey is bringing it into operation. It should not be activated. Doing so risks serious consequences for our security relationship.”

“Turkey has already been suspended from the F-35 program and the S-400 continues to be a barrier to progress elsewhere in the bilateral relationship," the spokesman added.

Outraged over the Turkish defiance, Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: "Today's test by Turkey of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system is a stark reminder that Ankara is not deterred by simple meek pleas coming from the Trump administration. Erdogan only responds to actions, not words," referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"In July 2019, Turkey took delivery of the S-400 in clear violation of US sanctions mandated by the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions law. The Trump administration has ignored the law, weakening our hand against Putin. It has also has emboldened Erdogan, leading to today's test," the top US senator added.

Washington strongly objected to Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian anti-aircraft system and suspended Turkey from its hi-tech F-35 fighter jet program, saying the S-400 are a threat to the stealth fighter jets. It has also warned Ankara that it risks US sanctions. — Agencies

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